Investigating the choriocapillaris and choroidal vasculature with new optical coherence tomography technologies

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2016 May;52:130-55. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2015.10.002. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


The body of knowledge of in vivo investigation of the choroid has been markedly enhanced by recent technological advances in optical coherence tomography (OCT). New insights elucidating the morphological features of the choriocapillaris and choroidal vasculature, in both physiological and pathological conditions, indicate that the choroid plays a pivotal role in many posterior segment diseases. In this article, a review of the histological characteristics of the choroid, which must be considered for the proper interpretation of in vivo imaging, is followed by a comprehensive discussion of fundamental principles of the current state-of-the-art in OCT, including cross-sectional OCT, en face OCT, and OCT angiography using both spectral domain OCT and swept source OCT technologies. A detailed review of the tomographic features of the choroid in the normal eye is followed by relevant findings in prevalent chorioretinal diseases, focusing on major causes of vision loss such as typical early and advanced age-related macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, central serous chorioretinopathy, pachychoroid spectrum disorders, diabetic choroidopathy, and myopia.

Keywords: Choriocapillaris; Choroid; En face; Optical coherence tomography; Optical coherence tomography angiography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choroid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Choroid Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*